Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Who am I as a blogger?

At the start of this year, I think I was one of the only bloggers who didn't do a post about my New Years resolutions and plans for the year ahead. Not because I didn't make any, I made a lot, for my blog and my personal life, but because if I shared them then didn't do them, I'd feel guilty and like I had to explain why. See, I'm having a bit of a tough time at the moment with my blog. I don't really know what I am as a blogger. 




 make no secret of the fact that I started blogging way back in 2011, to boost my CV and develop my writing. Ever since I was a child, I've loved to create, whether that's writing, drawing, sewing, photographing, I just love creating something I can be proud of. An avid journal keeper since my mid teens, I've always loved words and feel I come across better in writing than in person. Maybe it's my 'resting bitch face' (God, I hate that term!) I don't know. But generally speaking, I like how I come across in writing and I'm good at it so I wanted to create a blog to showcase my work and to build a portfolio of writing for freelance work. I didn't start because of my love of beauty or fashion, I started mainly for professional reasons, although as it happens, being a full time blogger as a career sounds like my worst nightmare. (I have a whole post on that here if you want to know more).

I started mostly to write about fashion and beauty, I didn't even know that lifestyle blogging (everyone's favourite vague umbrella term) was even a thing when I started. Now though, 4 and a half years later, I still love fashion and beauty, but I'm more than that. I have strong views on social issues and politics and feminism and LGBTQA+ issues and race and health and sex and drugs and rock and roll and I've got a lot more to say for myself. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that for every tweet about a handbag or a lipstick, I'll probably post 20 about those topics. 

But blogging, and society in general is always apprehensive about a women has both superficial and serious interests, and as a result, I'm left feeling lost and unsure how to define my blog. To a lot of people, that'd be fine, but I am and always have been someone who likes to know rather than go on feeling and if even I don't know and it's my blog, I can't expect my readers to know or understand either. As weird as it sounds for an online hobby, I felt lonely. I'm not at all lonely in my life as a whole, but I'm lonely in my 'blog life'. 




Time after time in blogger chats on Twitter, when asked why people started their blogs or what they think the best thing about blogging is, the community is praised. This all-accepting community, that supports one another and works together to promote positivity amongst bloggers. Or do I'm told. Until maybe 6 months ago, I truly believe every word of that, I answered blogger chat questions with the exact same and ultimately bland statements. 

Recently though, I've started to see this community differently. Don't get me wrong, most people in it are respectful, supportive, welcoming and well intentioned, I've even recently joined a WhatsApp group with seven other bloggers which is so much fun and I think of them (among others) as my friends as well as just fellow bloggers. However, I think the idea of a community is put on too high of a pedestal. I have bloggers I don't like, I'm sure a lot of bloggers dislike me. Just because we share a hobby doesn't mean we should have to blindly support one another regardless of our opinions, views, morals, personalities or tastes. Maybe it's my feelings of disassociation from the blogging community that is causing me to feel alone and lost. 

One of my blog New Years resolutions I set myself was twice a week. It's now week 9 and I've posted 7 times, meaning I'm missed my target by 59%. I don't think of my blog as a job, but in any other, if I was under productive by more than half my already lenient target, there'd be a big problem. It's not the lack of ideas, it's not even the lack of content because I have loads of content photographed, written and edited, it's mostly the thought of doing the whole community thing to get it out there. I just feel withdrawn, not to mention plagued with guilt for being a huge hypocrite and like I constantly need to explain myself. 

I'm not even really sure why I'm writing this other than that I find putting my feelings into words to be therapeutic. Maybe you can relate? Oh please say someone can relate...

Regularly scheduled blogging will hopefully commence soon.


13 comments:

  1. I looooooove the term "lifestyle blogging" because it means I get to pretend what I do has a label. The actual label should be "here is where I post about things I like and things that are important to me that nobody is actually paying me to write about, except sometimes they do when they offer me something that is interesting to myself and other people".

    Long story short: write what you like. Sure, you won't get nineteen million Bloglovin followers out of it but if your Twitter is anything to go by you stopped giving a crap about that long ago. For as long as this place feels like the best way for you to express your creativity I'll be reading: I find you very entertaining and I see a lot of myself in you too.

    Next time we're at an event together, let's actually talk, 'k?

    Lis / last year's girl x

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  2. I love this! At the moment I'm struggling because I spend most of the day thinking about immigration issues and the US presidential election and, y'know, REAL THINGS. Something huge will happen in the news and then when I go on bloglovin' and see people writing about nail varnish, it seems really vacuous and meaningless. And I'm being a bit hypocritical by not writing about any of these things myself, so I'd better get blogging...
    thedevilwearstartan.com

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  3. I agree with a lot of this! We shouldn't have to like everyone who has the same hobby as us! There are some blogs that I really hate - and the other day I got attacked on a Facebook group because the blogger didn't like the comment I left on their blog (I said I liked their cat - they said it wasn't relevant to the post - I said that doesn't matter surely - and on it went) since then I've really been put off about the idea of a community - especially as at the end of the day it's a competition! If another blogger praises my blog, it's great as I know they know what their talking about, but there are so many blog readers who aren't bloggers and so many of them are overlooked! I also find the term lifestyle challenging - what does it even mean? I'm a lifestyle blogger but I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't want to have or know about my real lifestyle! Haha

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  4. The term lifestyle is used a lot to cover "everything else" category, this just reminded me of a night out over 10 years ago, it went like this "this is a lifestyle bar" we accept everyone.... except that straight couple, get OUT!
    Tangent I know but blog away! Who cares once your happy!
    My blog totally goes through different phases.... I mean "lifestyles "

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  5. The term lifestyle is used a lot to cover "everything else" category, this just reminded me of a night out over 10 years ago, it went like this "this is a lifestyle bar" we accept everyone.... except that straight couple, get OUT!
    Tangent I know but blog away! Who cares once your happy!
    My blog totally goes through different phases.... I mean "lifestyles "

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  6. I definitely agree the so-called positive blogging community is bullshit and irritating - like you said, the fact that we're all bloggers does not mean we should all like, love, support, and agree with each other. There's such a false aura of positivity surrounding the blogging community and it's so irritating! I'm not quite sure why people expect online communities like the blogging community to be so super-happy and super-supportive and 'drama' free. Online communities are literally exactly the same as offline communities - they're susceptible to the exact same bullshit, tensions, conflicts, and irritations. There seems to be this distorted perception that because we're all online we're somehow better than offline communities and are positive and happy and accepting, but that literally makes no sense. It bothers me that people try to create this false perceptions of a blogging community that is somehow magically better than offline communities.

    It also bothers me that people speak of a blogging community as if it's one, cohesive, homogenous thing. Like, there is no single 'blogging community'. There are fashion blogging communities, and beauty communities, and feminist communities, and Scottish communities and literally every other sub-set of community you can think of. We're not all united because we blog - I have pretty much nothing in common (blog wise) with fashion and beauty bloggers, or even most lifestyle bloggers (I'm mainly a feminism and politics kinda gal), so why on earth should I class myself as part of the same community as them?

    Sorry for this mammoth reply, it just sparked a lot of thoughts I've been having lately - TL;DR: great post, and I agree that the blogging 'community' is bullshit!

    petticoatsandpatriarchy.com xx

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  7. Great post. There can be many positives about the blogging community...finding friends you wouldn't have found etc...but there's also definitely negatives. There can be horrible bitchiness. I tend to stay on the fringes. I get most of my traffic from Google and don't rely on social traffic. It took them me but I prefer it that way. You're a great writer, I have to really work at making sure my full IRL personality comes through in my writing... Reading yours is inspiring xx

    www.digital-diva.co.uk

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  8. I have only just read this now but I am feeling EXACTLY the same way. I wrote a post almost identical (you phrased it so much better though haha) to this last month and I just want to reach through the screen and hug you in solidarity! I feel so lost and I hate not knowing where I am!! Trying to power through but its so hard! :(

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  9. Thought blogging. Mine started as a fashion blog and I think I did maybe one fashion post??
    So I called it a thought blog.
    Not that having a label has helped with my productivity (please don't look at he date of my last post. Please.) xxx

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  10. Thank you for posting this, I totally understand what you mean. Often I've shied away from posting things online for fear of a backlash and I see you get a lot of negativity for speaking up about important and valuable topics. It makes me angry that people can call it a 'supportive community' and then very quickly turn on one another...

    Your audience loves what you do so don't worry about not hitting targets or knowing your niche. Just write what you want and what you do best honey!

    Jenna
    xxx
    | princessparasox.wordpress.com | bloglovin' |

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  11. I love this post and it's interesting to hear you reflecting on blogging with such self awareness. I often feel like I don't really know what my blog is either. I think it's easier to be successful if you have a cleary defined niche or style, but most people have several aspcts to their life and I personally like to blog about all of them! I think when your blog is a reflection of your life it can feel inconsistent because life isn't really that consistent. I know what you mean about the community too - I've met some amazing friends through blogging but it's not like I share interests with people on twitter just because they're also bloggers! xx

    Jessthetics

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  12. This was really interesting to read! It's nice to see people reflecting about being a blogger. I'm relatively new and I'm trying to make sure I stay true to myself. It'll be nice in a few Katy's to reflect back on my blog:) xx

    Alice-Tilly | http://alice-tilly.blogspot.co.uk/

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